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Byo water situation set to improve following infrastructure upgrade

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


THE water situation in the city of Bulawayo is set to improve significantly following the upgrading of the city’s antiquated water and sewer infrastructure.

In July 2019 council started the implementation of the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) with the support of the African Development Bank.

Part of the project included improving access to municipal water supply in identified project areas by improving efficiency of raw water pumping, treatment and distribution networks in areas supplied by the Magwegwe and Criterion reservoirs.

The rehabilitation works also involved the replacement of old valves, pumps and all associated civil works.

Speaking to journalists during a tour of the project Thursday, the city’s acting director of engineering service Sikhumbuzo Ncube revealed that almost 95 percent of the project had been completed.

The project, which is funded to the tune of US$37 million, had been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Overall, the project is around 95% complete, disbursements are at 97 percent (but) the challenge is that the project’s supply chain had been affected by Covid-19 hence some of the resources are yet to be delivered from Europe,” said Ncube.

“We are anticipating the delivery of this by end of June and unfortunately that is when the project is ending so we had to consider extending it.”

Under the programme, by-pass breakers were also installed and rehabilitated at the pump station at a cost of US$1,7million while the Criterion water treatment plant was rehabilitated at a cost of US$1,1 million.

“Other projects were the upgrading and renewal of water pipes in Pumula, Luveve and other areas where almost 171 km of pipes were installed while 8 100 meters were installed,” he added.

The project included the rehabilitation of outfall sewers at the Southern Areas Sewer Treatment (SAST).

Bulawayo has been facing perennial water shortages as a result of antiquated water infrastructure and droughts.